Changing Final Cut Pro Render Setting To ProRes

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the November, 2010, issue of
Larry’s Monthly Final Cut Studio Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

We had a great turn-out at my live webinar last Wednesday. Three sold-out events, with almost 300 people attending. During the three presentations, I answered more than 100 questions about Final Cut Studio.

The only down-side was that we had so many questions, I couldn’t answer all of them, so I thought I’d tackle a few here that I couldn’t get to, and share them with all of us.

Jeff B.

I’m shooting XDCAM. Using Log & Transfer, how can I change which version of ProRes I’m transcoding into and which version of ProRes should I use?

Larry replies: Jeff, first you need to install the free utility from Sony: XDCAM Transfer. This provides both XDCAM drivers for your Mac and allows Final Cut to support ingesting XDCAM using Log & Transfer.

FCP is able to edit XDCAM natively, so that, if all your sequence contains is XDCAM footage, you don’t need to transcode.

And, rather than transcode, I would recommend that you change your render settings to ProRes. XDCAM renders slowly, and at a lower quality than ProRes.

Here’s how.

1. Load your XDCAM sequence into the Timeline and select the Timeline.

2. Go to Sequence > Settings

3. Click the Render Settings tab.

4. Change the Codec pop-up to ProRes.

Renders will be 30-40% faster. However, this only works for HDV, XDCAM HD, XDCAM EX, and XDCAM HD422 footage.

If you need to change transcoding settings in Log & Transfer, click the small gear icon in the top center.

Click in the right-hand column on the target format you want to change and select the version of ProRes you want to use.

For consumer cameras, AVCHD, HDV, and XDCAM, I recommend using ProRes 422. The MPEG2 compression these cameras use compresses the picture so much that you won’t see a visual difference between using ProRes 422 and ProRes 4444; but the file sizes will be a lot smaller with ProRes 422.

I recommend using ProRes 422 HQ for higher quality cameras – RED, HDCAM, HDCAM SR.

I recommend using ProRes 4444 for After Effect exports or other files that are swapped between applications.


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